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Caithness groups have until June 10 to apply for SSEN funding


By David G Scott

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Communities across the county are being encouraged to apply for grant-funding to boost local resilience and protect vulnerable community members, with just over a week to go until the closing date for applications.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution and SSEN Transmission have made £280,000 available to non-profit making organisations, community groups and charities working to protect and enhance the resilience of those most vulnerable across the north of Scotland. The deadline date for applications is Thursday, June 10.

Since its launch in 2015, the Resilient Communities Fund (RCF) has provided £2.8 million to 540 community groups and charities working across SSEN’s network areas. In March 2020, SSEN repurposed the fund to support communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Lucas of Argyll and Bute radio communications received funding in an earlier round.
Paul Lucas of Argyll and Bute radio communications received funding in an earlier round.

While last year’s grants continue to support the ongoing community coronavirus response, the 2021 fund focuses on improving local resilience to prepare for emergency events, including severe weather and power cuts. The fund will support local projects that:

  • Protect the welfare of vulnerable community members during emergencies by enhancing their resilience and improving community participation and effectiveness.
  • Enhance community facilities, services and communication – particularly to support local response to a significant emergency event.

Morven Smith, head of community investment, said: “This past year has been a year like no other, and as our distribution and transmission businesses play their part in supporting the green economic recovery from coronavirus, we’re also committed to supporting our communities to build their own resilience as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Since its launch in 2015, the RCF has provided £2.8 million to 540 community groups and charities working tirelessly across our network areas. Community spirit has never been stronger, and we’re delighted to launch the fund again to make a real difference to the communities we serve.”

The 2021 fund is particularly focused on projects helping vulnerable or isolated people living in the SSEN Transmission and SSEN Distribution network area, with applications of up to £20,000 to be considered by an independent fund panel. Decisions on each application will be made in the autumn and communicated directly to successful applicants by September 2021.

In previous rounds:

  • THAW (Tackling Household Affordable Warmth) Orkney received £15,000 to support vulnerable people across the Orkney Islands, helping them stay warm in their homes.
  • Highland Senior Citizens Network received £19,941 to build the resilience of older people within harder to reach communities, better connecting those most at risk during emergency events.
  • Glasgow and Clyde RAYNET received £16,432 to enhance radio communication across the Argyll and Bute islands, including Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Tiree and Coll.
  • Amina – the Muslim Women’s Resource Centre – received £13,323 to build the resilience of minority ethnic women in Dundee.

For more information on the RCF or to apply before next week’s closing date of Thursday, June 10, please visit ssen.co.uk/resiliencefund

To check who your network operator is to see if you would be eligible for funding, please visit ssen.co.uk/whoismynetworkoperator


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